Touchscreen Voting Machine Problems

Problems with Touchscreen Voting Machines
This page last updated on Oct 24, 2010
(For more extensive list election problems please see Voters Unite Election Problems Log at )
List of Voting Equipment by State at Verified Voting's Verifier

NC: October 27, 2010. Double Take: Touch screen voting casts doubt with some voters* (Lenoir) 
Ervin Norville, a registered Democrat, said he was trying to vote for a straight party Republican ticket Tuesday Oct. 19, at the McLewean Street polling place. He said when he reviewed his ballot, several Democratic candidates were selected.
ones — a former high school government teacher at South Lenoir — said he used three machines before finally being able to get his ballot correct.

“I voted and I decided to do something I don’t normally do and I reviewed my vote, and four of them were not what I pressed. It was not doing right,” Jones said. “I called the ladies over and they called the county office and went to another machine. Finally, I got it on the right one and I voted.”

Jones said he was not voting a straight party ticket but noticed three races that were voted opposite of what he had pressed. He added the woman next to him also had some trouble voting.

NV: October 25, 2010. Nevada Voters Complain Of Problems At Polls
(Sequoia AVC Edge w/VVPAT)
Voter Joyce Ferrara said when they went to vote for Republican Sharron Angle, her Democratic opponent, Sen. Harry Reid's name was already checked.

Ferrara said she wasn't alone in her voting experience. She said her husband and several others voting at the same time all had the same thing happen.
"Something's not right," Ferrara said. "One person that's a fluke. Two, that's strange. But several within a five minute period of time -- that's wrong."

Clark County Registrar of Voters Larry Lomax said there is no voter fraud, although the issues do come up because the screens are sensitive.

TX: October 25, 2010 Electric touch screen glitch caught on tape*  (ES&S iVotronic/paperless) When (Dallas County). Don Relyea, a Dallas area computer programmer, attempted to vote on an electronic touch screen machine, he got a bit of a surprise. The machine changed his vote.
However, Alex Halderman, a computer scientist at the University of Michigan who has spent years studying voting machines, was surprised by Sherbert's reaction. "This is a known class of problems with touch screen voting machines."

NC: [UPDATED] Touch-Screens in Two NC Counties Flip Straight-Party Votes Repeatedly from GOP to Dem (ES&S iVotronics w/vvpat)
County GOP Chair: The ES&S machines 'ain't worth a damn, we ought to go back to paper ballots'. One voter says: 'I pressed confirm and screen went totally black'..

NC: October 22, 2010 Voting Machines Marking Ballots For The Wrong Candidates* (ES&S iVotronic w/vvpat)
New Bern -- Voters in Craven County are complaining that voting machines are selecting people they do not want to vote for. Sam Laughinghouse of New Bern and Diana Creel say the machines marked off candidates they did not want to vote for when they touched the screens on the voting machines.

NC: October 22, 2010 Problems At The Polls* (video. ES&S iVotronic w/vvpat)
Creel says a red flag went up for her while voting in Havelock when the woman in front of her began having problems with the voting machine.
"She had problems, whenever she checked a candidate, it always popped to another one," says Creel.
Creel says she had the same problem and she notified an election official who helped her sort out the machine, but then...
"I pressed confirm and the screen went totally black," tells Creel.
Now she says she isn't sure if her vote was counted.

NC: October 22, 2010 Voting irregularities discovered in Craven 

(ES&S iVotronic VVPAT) It has been reported that some voting machines in the state are malfunctioning. But we have been told by Kellie Hopkins, Elections Director of Beaufort County that no such problems have been identified in Beaufort County. Beaufort County does not use the same kinds of machines that have been reported to be causing problems.
(also talks about DC internet voting pilot hack)

NC: October 19, 2010 Voters, candidates continue talk of voting problems*
ES&S iVotronic with VVPAT
Some New Hanover County voters have complained about voting machines not registering their votes correctly. One voter, who did not want to go on camera, told us he raised his hand for help, but it never came.

NC: October 15, 2010 Elections chief says 'no conspiracy' in voting machine glitch
ES&S iVotronic with VVPAT New Hanover County Elections Director Bonnie Williams says during that first day voting machines were choosing the wrong candidate. That has some people questioning the integrity of the board of elections.
"I know this sounds disturbing, but it's simply an issue that the touch screen lost its calibration," Williams said. "There's no conspiracy. The Board of Elections operates in a non-partisan fashion, and we really don't have a preference as to who wins the election."

NC: October 15, 2010 Some experience early voting woes* ES&S iVotronic w/vvpat NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC
Some people complained that when they voted for certain candidates the electronic voting machines would pick another candidate.

"I was going through county commissioners and made my selection, it went from Republican candidates to Democrat. It did it three different times," said Dean Lambeth, Mayor of Kure Beach.

According to Lambeth, he experienced the same issue when he voted for the congressional race.

"We talked with a technician and said it could have been an interruption in power or it could have been a calibration that wasn't saved," said Bonnie Williams, Board of Elections Supervisor.

October 14, 2010  Touchscreen voting machine problems: Select Pantano, you get McIntyre!* (ES&S iVotronic w/VVPAT)
On the first day of voting in New Hanover county there was a problem with the screen calibration on some voting machines. When someone touched the screen for Pantano, it would check the box above (McIntyre’s). It happened in other races down ticket too, because the Republican candidate is second on the ballot and the touchscreen would mistakenly record the vote in the box above where you touched. The machines in New Hanover were re-calibrated and the issue seems to have been solved.

TX: Video Shows Touch-Screen Voting Machine Purportedly Flipping Vote From Republican Perry to Green Party Candidates in Dallas County, TX (ES&S iVotronic paperless)
Incident challenged by election official, reported to D.A., highlights familiar problem with unverifiable machines
ALSO: Vote said flipped from Dem to Repub in Collin County

CO: August 12, 2010 Primary turnout breaks records* (voter confusion, touchscreen trouble) 
Accu-vote OS and AccuVote/Diebold Touch Screen
Pitkin County. A technical difficulty uploading voting information from the county’s touch-screen machines caused hours of delay and an eventual hand count, Shellman said. Come general election time in November, that issue should be eliminated, Shellman said.

KS: July 27, 2010 Problems Possible with Some Touch-Screen Voting Machines

(with video),0,2795262.story?track=rss Johnson County. (Diebold AccuVote TSX touchscreen)
"The calibration, just like they would on an iPad or any kind of touch screen kind of thing, can be slightly off," said Newby. "If you press a button and you mean to hit candidate a and candidate b comes up, just uncheck it and vote for who you want. Then you get a review screen at the end so you really have two chances to, what we call 'second chance voting', you really have two chances to do that before you hit cast ballot."

KS: July 27, 2010 “Touchy” vote screen: Toplikar tries to vote for himself but “X” appears for opponent * (Diebold Accuvote TSX touchscreen) County Commission Chair candidate John Toplikar voted today at the Johnson County Election Office for the Aug. 3 primary and was concerned when he pressed the touch screen to vote for himself and the “X” appeared next to one of his three competitors, Annabeth Surbaugh.
But Newby was not sure if Toplikar’s machine was uncalibrated. The calibration process tries to ensure a voter’s perception of their press point coincides with a desired selection. Newby said the angle used by a voter in pressing the screen, the length of a voter’s fingernail, or even static electricity can affect how a touch is registered by the machine.

SC: June 6, 2010 Balky machine frustrates voter * (ES&S iVotronic paperless)
Northeast resident Jim Lawrence reported problems with a voting machine in the North Springs precinct this morning.
A poll worker eventually had to close out his ballot and move him to another machine, Lawrence said, because his original machine wouldn’t record his choices.
One voter called the Richland County elections office to complain that the callers’ ballot had the wrong Congressional race. Cinnamon said that could have been a result of human error — a poll worker reading the wrong line on the registration list

PA: May 19, 2010 Voting machine malfunctions in Crawford County* (ES&S iVotronic paperless)
Preston said poll workers in Sadsbury Township, near Conneaut Lake, were unable to retrieve voting information stored in one of the township's voting machines

PA: May 19, 2010 Lower Mount Bethel Township woman says bad advice cost her votes*(Sequoia AVC paperless touchscreen)
Northampton CO. A Lower Mount Bethel Township woman claims bad advice from a poll worker made her unable to vote in most races today.
Brewer said she was led to believe she should press a red “Cast Ballot” button after each choice she made. But voters are supposed to press the button only after they’ve made all of their choices.

VA: May 4, 2010 Smigiel, Wright complain of voting problems in Norfolk *
(Diebold Accuvote TSX paperless) City Council candidate Tommy Smigiel claims that three voters in East Ocean View and another at the Oceanair precinct attempted to vote for him but voting machines would only allow them to vote for incumbent W. Randy Wright.
Meanwhile, Wright said he was concerned about a voting machine that broke at Tarrallton Elementary School, a precinct where he typically gets a lot of support.
City Registrar Elisa Long said the voters Smigiel referred to apparently ran their fingers across the screen, which can cause the wrong candidate’s name to appear.
Rosmer said at least twice in an attempt to vote for Smigiel the machine gave him Wright’s name instead.

OH: November 3, 2009 Voting going smoothly, officials report *
(Premier/Diebold Election Solutions AccuVote-TSX)
Montgomery County ...After a few early morning glitches, he said as the day progressed there have been “just a few minor problems, all immediately resolved.”

An encoder used to activate the machine at Dayton 1C, located in the Wilkinson Plaza building at 126 W. Fifth St. didn’t work so they used paper ballots until they got a new encoder installed, Harsman said.
Though a few machines have been taken out of service or replaced today, he said it’s no problem.
Other than some sporadic paper jams which were quickly resolved, there have been no problems.

Llyn McCoy, Greene County Board of Elections deputy director, said they had minor calibration issues with voting machines this morning at a couple of polling places. The machines ran slow when a person touched it, but once the machines were calibrated correctly they worked better, she said. All the polling places opened on time, she said.

The Vandalia power outage earlier this morning that knocked out electrical power to about a third of the city did not stop voting because the machines have a battery backup that lasts five hours, Harsman said. The power outage only lasted about an hour, from 5 a.m. to 6 a.m., according to a Vandalia police dispatcher.

US: August 20, 2008 States rush to dump touch-screen voting systems
States are increasingly abandoning touchscreen voting, scrapping multimillion-dollar systems purchased since 2000.  Arstechnica. August 20, 2008 It's a good time to pick up an electronic voting machine on the cheap—provided you're not a stickler for things like "accuracy" or "security." States are scrapping tens of thousands of pricey touchscreen systems in response to mounting concerns about the machines' reliability.

US: Malfunction and Malfeasance:
A Report on the Electronic Voting Machine Debacle
This report surveys four major studies that reviewed DRE voting machine security and reliability. Two of the reports involved extensive review of more than 80 academic, technical, and industry reports on DREs. Each report concluded DRE machines to be vulnerable to malfunction and also to tampering in which a computer-savvy hacker with minimal access to the machine could introduce malicious code to the DRE software and change the results of an election. Such manipulation could be undetectable. In machines equipped with a modem, it could even be done from a remote location.

You can read the rest of this report, including details on specific at-risk states, here: